What to do before and after adopting a dog

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adopted puppy

This is a simple informative guide so that people who have never adopted a dog know how to act. Adopting a dog is great news for both him and us, as we will both start a new family life. It is very important to know your needs and have everything prepared so that you feel comfortable.

Obviously this guide is also for those who buy a dog for the first time, although honestly … I do not understand that someone spends money on buying a dog when there are thousands of puppies waiting for a home in the shelters and kennels. Although each with their decisions, obviously.

dog in his bed

Before Adopting a Dog: Conditioning Your Space

It is important to remember that our dog will feel strange in his new house, only with time will he know how he should behave and only we, providing him with an adequate education, will be able to help him to cope better.

To avoid scares, damage and headaches … It is best to adapt a space for your first days where it is difficult for you to break something. For example, the kitchen is a good place, although we must avoid leaving cables and anything else that may bite on the floor.

Our new dog will need a comfortable and fluffy bed where he can sleep, a drinker where he must always have clean and fresh water at his disposal and a feeder where we will put his food at the corresponding times. You will also need a toy with which to play and bite it, we must buy a toy for which it can not break or swallow (avoid taking toys in stores at 100 or Chinese, since the quality is very low and the components in many toxic occasions).

It is important to have at home a sack of the same food that you were eating in the protector or a sack of the new food that you want to give it. Remember that the food must be of quality and always appropriate for its age: Puppy, adult, exercise / work dog or senior.

We must also avoid leaving things on the floor, such as cables and anything edible and within reach in the rest of the house, since in an oversight we can get confused and can do some mischief.

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dog thinking about a bone

Before adopting a dog: Understanding the dog

For a dog it is a very radical change to leave a protector, kennel or kennel to join a home. Everything is new, everyone is unknown, you don’t listen to the other puppies, etc… Knowing this, it goes without saying that the main thing is to have a bag of patience.

The shelter’s path home can be traumatizing if done by car, many dogs are afraid to travel by car and can get very nervous. So it is important to enable a space in the trunk with separator bars or tie it to an approved strap to prevent it from passing to the front of the car and disturbing the driver.

During your first days at home we must be very patient, kind and above all loving. We must create an emotional bond with him, so no scolding, hitting (you should never really hit a dog, under any circumstances) or pouting. If you break something, if you pee or poop at home (which will be done, it’s something completely normal) or the like…. all good faces and patience.

 dog at the vet

After adopting a dog: First steps

The best thing to do immediately after adopting a dog is to go to a vet to vaccinate, deworm, and do an initial check-up. With this we will make sure that your health is good and that your vaccines are up to date, also that it does not contain any internal or external parasites such as fleas or ticks that can infect us. If these tests have already been carried out by the protector, we can then go to the second step, go home.

Before entering the house it is highly recommended to take a walk around, always with the dog on a leash obviously. It is important to let the dog smell it all, relieve itself and begin to feel the environment as familiar. If the dog is an adult, it is even recommended that it be a great walk (of a couple of hours at least) so that it relaxes and vent a little.

Obviously if it is a dog younger than six months, we will not take him for a walk until he has all the mandatory vaccinations in puppies. It may seem silly but the truth is that a puppy without vaccines can even die from very simple diseases to cure in a vaccinated dog.

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Once we get home, we must show the dog where it will sleep (the room we have prepared for it, the kitchen for example) and let it get used to it. If there are more people in the house, they should not harass you with pampering and congratulations…. they just have to let the dog smell them and be the one to interact with them. There will be a long time later for everyone to have a more personal relationship with him.

Summarizing this last part a little, it is important for the dog to come home relaxed and keep his state relaxed in it. You have to show yourself your place, give him water, also food if it’s time, introduce him to the family, etc … but without great excitement. Everything is so new that it should not be overwhelmed.

It is very likely that the first few days he will be very active at home, nervous, curious … even that at night he will cry. It is completely normal and we should not worry about it, with the passing of days and weeks we will appreciate how you relax and adapt to your new family.

walking with my dog

After Adopting a Dog: Habits and Education

It is important that from the first day strict routines are followed with the outings to the street, either to walk or to relieve yourself. If it is a puppy we must follow some simple tips so that it learns to relieve itself outside the home: How to teach a dog to pee and poop outside the home.

If it is an adult dog, we must set some times to go for a walk, relieve themselves, etc … And always respect them, since the dog will quickly get used to these times. However it is normal that the first days do it at home…. it should not be given importance.

Meal times should also always be the same, dogs do not have a wrist watch but have a more accurate internal clock than the best rolex. They know perfectly well when it is time to eat so you have to respect their schedules.

The same happens with the rules that must be followed at home, such as whether or not you can get on the sofa. From the first day you have to establish rules and enforce them, you can get more information on these links:

  • Puppy education
  • Adult dog education
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Although many people say goodbye to the dog when they leave the house, the truth is that it is a bad habit. Our dog interprets that we speak to him because we do not want to separate from him but we are doing it…. and that creates anxiety and stress. However, if when we need to leave we just do it, without looking at him or saying goodbye, he will interpret that we are leaving because we want to. You may cry a little to get our attention, something very common when there is stress due to separation between the dog and the owner.

 dog loving its owner

After adopting a dog: Socializing

Dogs need to be with other dogs and also with other humans to socialize, it is such an important process that not doing it supposes that our dog can develop fears, phobias and aggressiveness towards other dogs or people.

If it is a puppy, we will wait until it has all its vaccinations and can go outside, then we will begin to follow the instructions on the following link.

If it is an adult we can start with socialization faster, but always with care since we must know the character of our dog.

  • Tips for properly socializing a dog

It is also completely normal that our dog gets better or worse with certain dogs, just as it happens with humans, dogs are also selective. If our dog growls a little with other dogs without going over, we should not be scared, between dogs there are also discussions (although obviously we must avoid passing from there).

And everything else will come alone and at its own pace, in a short time you will see how the dog becomes the joy of the house. How each time you arrive he will greet you full of joy and how he fills you with pampering, for you you are his family, always remember him.

handsome dog resting

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